Taking ibuprofen and aspirin can triple the likelihood of surviving cancer, a new study suggests.

A trial at the University of California found the five-year survival rate of 25 per cent increased to 78 per cent when  some patients took the anti-inflammatory medications.

The drug’s apparently dramatic beneficial effect applied to patients with an alteration to a particular gene in their cancerous tumour, known as PIK3CA.

The scientists behind the research say this is significant because that gene alteration occurs across a range of different cancers, including breast, bowel and endometrial cancer.

It means that, once backed up by larger trials, prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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